Best Bets: Week 6

St. Xavier RB Charles Kellom (photo by James Bates/

Through the first half of the regular season we have some teams in the area on track to be historically good (see below). This has also been a year where teams that have struggled for many years are playing some excellent football, putting themselves in a position to win playoff games. However, we have also witnessed teams with lofty expectations have a less than stellar first half of the season. 

Nevertheless with much football still to be played, Week 6 should give us an exciting slate of conference games with playoff positioning and bragging rights on the line. Here are the matchups to look out for in this week’s edition of the Best Bets.

It’s the Bombers world and we are all just living in it. After handling Moeller 49-16 to open conference play, St. Xavier is riding high and have separated themselves as the best team not only in Southwest Ohio, but arguably in the entire state. 

Senior running back Charles Kellom ran for over 200 yards with three touchdowns against the Crusaders and signal caller Brogan McCaughey has yet to turn the ball over through five games while accounting for more than 15 touchdowns. Defensively, they have yet to allow more than 20 points and have the experience and talent to shut down even the most potent of offenses. 

Elder has had a forgettable first half of the season. Coming in losers of two straight and three out of their last four, the Panthers are desperately trying to find their mojo. What we thought was going to be a potent offense led by Payton Ramsey and Ben Hambleton has sputtered, averaging only 15 points per game in their losses. 

Elder only has one quality win on their schedule and that came to a CovCath team in Week 1 that is way down from the past. Defensively, things have unraveled as well, especially when it comes to stopping the run. They have given up 124 yards or more on the ground in all of their losses and have been gashed with big plays on both ends. 

With all of this being said, the Panthers are still a proud bunch and are well coached. We have every reason to believe they will get better as the season goes on and become a factor during playoff time. However, this week they run into a freight train going full speed, and it will take a perfectly executed game for the Panthers to even keep this one close.

Staying with the GCL South, this game has the makings to be the most exciting matchup of the week. Both teams have one loss with that coming to top 20 nationally ranked teams. The Lancers come into this game dangerous. Their schedule has been a gauntlet and they have passed the test so far with flying colors. 

The offense has just been good enough, especially with scoring late in games during the biggest moments. Superstar running back Gi’Bran Payne hasn’t truly dominated this season, but we know that is coming and it will take this offense to the next level. 

La Salle is carried by their defense and the ability to force turnovers. In every win this season, the Lancers have won the turnover battle and have capitalized on their foes shooting themselves in the foot with bad decision making and penalties. 

For the Crusaders, although they lost big to St. Xavier, we know they have playmakers and speed all over the offense. Tennel Bryant broke off a 68-yard touchdown run and William Steele had a 42-yard TD of his own. With Van George now leading the charge at quarterback and guys like Jordan Marshall and Brandon White also being there this offense is extremely dangerous. 

The Achilles’ heel for Moeller has been turnovers, and they were -2 in that department against the Bombers. If they can hold onto the ball, they can pull off the win against Lasalle. Although the Lancers have seen bigger and tougher this year and won’t be intimated in the least. Expect this game to be a wild ride from start to finish.

Who would have thought that by year two of the Warriors being in the ECC, Milford would be ahead of them in the standings? That is the case here as the Eagles have won three straight games and stand at 4-1 to start the year. 

Led by Luke Ray and Cam Zoromski on defense, Milford has allowed only 17 points per game in their wins, while allowing 35 in their only loss of the season to Lakota East. The running game is what drives the offense led by Junior Natwan Webster, who is third in the conference in rushing. In three of their four wins they tallied more than 200 yards on the ground. In their one loss, the team only netted 54 yards on the ground. 

For the Warriors, the offense finally exploded in a big way against West Clermont last week. Tyreke Spikes had 154 rushing yards, two scores, including a 70-yarder. This is what Winton Woods has been waiting for and are looking to build on moving forward. When Spikes gets going, this offense has another gear that we haven’t seen all year. Yes, West Clermont isn’t the best of competition, but having that confidence moving forward bodes well for the Warriors. 

Their defense has been excellent, allowing only 12 points per game this year and if it wasn’t for a missed PAT it would be 4-1. It should be noted Milford has wins over inferior teams as well. The one game they played against a high-quality opponent they were throttled. The Warriors are the team to trust here in terms of talent and big game experience, although Milford could make a massive statement with a winning performance as well.

How about those Thunderhawks? Winners of four straight, they are currently tied for first place in the conference half way through the season. Since their tough opening game loss to Moeller, East has outscored its opponents 171-55. 

The senior tandem of TJ Kathman and Charlie Kenrich continue to lead this team and they get more confident week by week. Junior running back Eric Davis has been a playmaker as well on the ground and through the air. This squad is loaded with experience at the biggest positions and will be a massive problem come playoff time. 

For the Aviators it has been a tale of two teams. One that has three wins and looks like a conference contender, the other that seems to struggle to do anything right. In all of those wins, Sycamore is +4 in the turnover battle and has outgained their opponents in total yards, specifically on the ground. In their two losses, they are +1 in the turnover margin and were outgained by 200 yards. 

The Aviators are at their best when they are creating turnovers and going up and down the field. The problem is their wins have come against extremely inferior teams with losing records. They were outscored 67-25 by teams with a winning record. East is playing their best ball of the season with a ground game that will prove too much to handle for Sycamore.

Make sure to check out the COMPLETE PREVIEW for this week’s featured game on the Blitz 5 Tour, Hamilton at Fairfield.

Here are some other games for teams ranked inside the Blitz 5 Top 25:

No. 2 Lakota West at No. 14 Mason
No. 4 Princeton at Oak Hills
Middletown at No. 7 Colerain
No. 8 Kings at Lebanon
No. 18 Turpin at Walnut Hills
No. 19 Badin at Carroll
Deer Park at No. 20 Wyoming
Northwest at No. 21 Ross
No. 22 McNicholas at Alter

Cooper at No. 15 Covington Catholic
Louisville St. Xavier at No. 23 Ryle

South Dearborn at No. 11 East Central
Batesville at No. 24 Lawrenceburg





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